Kazan, Russia’s most dangerous nuclear attack submarine – an annotated infographic

April 19, 2017

Russia has floated its newest nuclear-powered multi-purpose attack submarine. The launch of Kazan, considered a counterpart to U.S. Seawolf and Virginia-class, comes as Moscow claims its submarine fleet has increased combat patrols to levels last seen during the Cold War.

The Kazan is the first upgraded Project 885M Yasen-class attack submarine.

Equipped with eight vertical missile launchers, it can deliver Kalibr or Oniks anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles – significant after Russian ships and submarines fired long-range missiles from the Caspian and the Black Sea into Syria in 2016.

For the first time in Russian shipbuilding, the torpedo tubes are located not in the bow but just forward of the sail or fin, making room for a large Irtysh-Amfora spherical sonar system in the bow.

The Yasen subs also have six 650mm and two 533mm torpedo tubes that can also deploy mines and launch underwater drones.

Russia plans to build a total of seven Project 885M submarines. Goody, goody gumdrops.


#GreatBarrierReef off coast of #Australia hit by mass bleaching – an annotated infographic

April 18, 2017

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering from another massive bleaching event, the first time in memory such episodes have hit in back-to-back calendar years.

Experts fear the proximity of the two events gives the coral little chance to recover.

Key areas of the Reef suffered severe coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


Stream-ripping threatens music industry, as companies struggle to make streaming profitable – annotated infographics

April 18, 2017

As if a beleaguered music industry didn’t already have enough to contend with, the rise of streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, Deezer and Tidal –  yes! even Tidal! – have changed the way many people listen to music. It has also brought about a new form of piracy, known as “stream ripping”.

This new type of copyright infringement has overtaken conventional music download piracy.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


It’s not all days of wine and roses at the streaming companies, either. Spotify is the most successful streaming music service in the world and streaming is the music industry’s fastest-growing revenue source, yet none of the popular services has yet turned a profit.

Spotify has reportedly been in talks to acquire SoundCloud for some months now, but still no decisive action.


Fuels for life found on moon of Saturn – an annotated infographic

April 18, 2017

Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft has discovered hydrogen and carbon dioxide erupting in plumes of vapour from Saturn’s moon Enceladus. These are the critical organic chemical ingredients that sustain microbial life in extreme environments on Earth.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


IET events this April – #engineering and technology dates for your diary

April 5, 2017


Throughout April the IET’s Local Networks are hosting a myriad of events, covering topics as varied as VLC applications through to the consequences of Brexit on innovation in the UK.

For those looking to hone their soft skills there are a number of lifeskills workshops taking place across Great Britain, but there’s also a wide variety of technical seminars and conferences if you’re looking to enhance your engineering knowledge.

When it comes to technical visits you’re spoilt for choice: with engineers in Asia invited to visit sites such as the DHL Asia-Pacific Innovation Centre and Qianhai Free Trade Zone. In the UK you can check out the Typhoon jet at RAF Coningsby or perhaps Tata Llanwern’s automotive finishing line.

Finally, for those looking for a bit of fun, why not go along to one of the network’s quiz nights? And for those in Cardiff, there’s an IET takeover of Techniquest!

Below are a few of our personal highlights for the month, but full listings are available on the IET’s events search page.


07 April, Visible light communication (VLC) applications, Hung Hom, seminar

09 April, Middleton Railway, Leeds, visit

12 April, Brexit: opportunity or threat for UK innovation, London, lecture

13 April, Lifeskills: Leading and developing successful teams, Oxford, course

14 April, Qianhai Free Trade Zone, technical visit

18-20 April, Finance and accounting, London, course

18 April, IET Techniquest takeover, Cardiff, social event

20 April, Chocolate: from the bean to the bar, London, workshop

20 April, Tata Llanwern automotive finishing line, Swansea, technical visit

21 April, DHL Asia-Pacific Innovation Centre, Singapore, technical visit

21 April, Quiz night, Leicester, social event

25 April, Present Around the World local heat, Bath, competition

26 April, Future of Engineering 2017: innovation, trust and responsibility, London, conference

26 April, Oxford Brookes University Motor Sport Faculty, Wheatley, technical visit

27 April, Inter-professional networking, Birmingham, social event

#Aliens abound as Americans report record #UFO sightings 70 years after Roswell – an annotated infographic

March 14, 2017

The 1947 Roswell UFO incident took place 70 years ago this year.

Initially reported as a crashed weather balloon, it was later confirmed as a military surveillance balloon, but conspiracy theories of alien spacecraft persist and reports of UFO sightings have soared in recent years – peaking in 2014 with 8,621 reports.

The truth is still out there.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


India’s AMCA stealth fighter – an annotated infographic

March 14, 2017

Preliminary design of India’s proposed Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) will begin in March, with a target of flying the aircraft in 2024 and making it ready for service as early as 2030. The twin-engine stealth warplane will likely feature an upgraded version of the General Electric F414 powerplant.

The AMCA is aimed at replacing much smaller ground attack jets such as the Mirage-2000, Jaguar and Mig-27. Russian technology includes Sukhoi stealth, active electronically scanned array or AESA radar and three-dimensional thrust vectoring for the AMCA’s engines.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


#Formula1 #F1 2017 new rules – bigger, faster, more – an annotated infographic

March 10, 2017

New rules introduced for the 2017 Formula One season will bring the biggest changes to the cars in almost two decades, with revised aerodynamics and improved grip leading to faster racing.

The Formula One World Championship commences with the Australian GP in March and concludes in Abu Dhabi in November.

The new rules focus on bodywork changes which increase aerodynamic grip, the downforce, and new tyres which provide greater mechanical grip.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

formula 1 2017 new rules

Africa’s Kariba Dam at risk of collapse – an annotated infographic

March 10, 2017

Work is underway to repair the Kariba Dam between Zambia and Zimbabwe, which is at risk of collapse due to eroding foundations.

Many problems are facing French engineering firm Razel-Bec, which is repairing the dam. The dam was first opened in 1959 and is holding back 180 billion cubic metres of water. We’d better hope the fix holds, eh?

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


IET events this March – #engineering and technology dates for your diary

March 1, 2017



There’s something for everyone this month, with lectures, technical visits, career workshops, social gatherings and competitions.

With spring just round the corner, why not make the most of the lengthening days and head along to an IET event one evening? LN diaries around the world are filling up with events – this month you’ll find things taking place from Australia and Cyprus through to Hong Kong and Israel!

During March several Lifeskills workshops are taking place across the UK, where you can improve your presentation skills and tidy up your CV, then more local heats are underway for the IET’s Present Around The World competition.

You may also be interested in some networking opportunities – as well as events aimed specifically at female engineers and those working in the renewables section, several Local Networks are hosting socials to find out more about how you can get involved.

There are also several courses on offer in March, covering topics such as commercial awareness, project management and specification writing. And finally, technical visits are planned for GKN Carbon Fibre, Tyhpoo’s tea factory and Bombardier Rail Works to name but a few, so be sure to book a place before they fill up!

You can take a look at the full listings, but below are a few of our highlights for the month…


01 March, Get involved with the IET Birmingham Network, Birmingham, social event

02 March, Introduction to bidding and tendering, London, course

04 March, Young Innovators Day, Nicosia, Exhibition

07 March, Young Professionals visit to the Romford Rail Operating Centre, Romford, visit

09 March, Typhoo Tea Factory, Wirral, visit

11 March, Robot Day and Robot Triathlon 2017, Derby, competition

11 March, Career and Professionalism Congress, Hung Hom, conference

15 March, Lifeskills – Back to basics with presenting, Cheltenham, workshop

21-22 March, Project management techniques, London, course

22 March, Lifeskills – Make an impact with your CV, Manchester, workshop

23 March, Commercial awareness for technical people, London, course

23 March, Women in engineering networking, Adelaide, social event

29 March, GKN Carbon Fibre, Bristol, visit

30 March, Specification writing, Bristol, course